Color Wheel

In the color wheel, red and yellow bookend a range of oranges.  There’s no book-ending in my Central Texas garden, though. The color wheel, well-represented throughout, is engaged, even in winter.

This past week saw the first blooms of the Coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens.  For now, only one bloom in this drooping cluster is willing to flounce its yellow petticoat.

Clusters of coral-red blooms, skirted with golden-yellow frills, bloom on and off throughout spring. When the rains are generous, this vine flowers well into summer.


Petite HymenoxysTetraneuris scaposa, sends up sunny winter daisies, each of which dance in chilly breezes atop slender stems.

The Hymenoxys bloom in spring and occasionally in autumn; flowers hunker down in dormancy during the hot months of summer.  The evergreen, grassy clumps from which hail the stems and blooms, are always present, permanently marking the plants’ homes.


As mentioned in my last post, orange is this winter’s signature color.  Mexican honeysuckleJusticia spicigera, is covered in tubular orange goodies, eager for  pollinators to awake and work.

Plenty of honeysuckle orange decorates my winter garden.


Globe mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua, opens for honeybees each cold day, once the sun warms its petals.

Globe mallow dots its foliage with orange-petaled beauty.

I miss a good, hard freeze which sends the garden into rest and simplicity.  But enjoying blooms in winter?  Well, that is hard to beat.

Enjoy blooms from many places by checking out May Dreams Gardens, Carol’s monthly marking of blooms.

23 thoughts on “Color Wheel

  1. An incredible array of blooming plants. What a lucky person you are. I am a mere 100 miles up I-35 and all my plants froze except the tropical salvia which reseeds but they are pitiful looking. Some of them managed to bloom. I had some dandelions that popped up before the last freeze and one day I saw 2 small whitish butterflies. We really do need some winter which would benefit the plants.


    • To paraphrase Spencer Tracy in “Pat and Mike: “…what’s there is cherce.” 🙂 Any blooming is owed to the mild winter; some light freezes, no killing frost. My tropical salvia is also sad looking, but some have bloomed all winter.

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  2. I love that cape honeysuckle – and the Mexican honeysuckle, which I somehow managed to kill. My garden doesn’t freeze but even so it’s been too warm of late and a persistent ridge of high pressure is keeping the rain we need so badly at bay. Like you, I enjoy the flowers but a little more “normal weather” might be more beneficial to the garden in the long run.


    • Oooh, I love cape honeysuckle. My mother grew it in Corpus Christi (along the Gulf of Mexico), but I wasn’t successful. That was long ago, when we had winters. I could probably grow in now. The Mexican honeysuckle is a great plant for this area, I’m sorry you haven’t had good luck with it. I agree with you, Kris: I like the harder winters when the garden is reduced to its bones. It’s good for evaluation space, when things are cleared out, even if temporarily.


  3. The globe mallow’s my favorite. Ever since I found the Sphaeralcea lindheimeri — the woolly globe mallow — in the Rockport cemetery, it’s been in the back of my mind. I’d love to grow some in a pot, but getting the seeds may be an issue. That Mexican honeysuckle’s a knockout, but I may not have enough sun for that.

    It does sound as though we’re going to get a bit of cooler weather this week, but we sure could use one last, lingering cold snap. As long as the coots still are around, and the pecan trees haven’t leafed, there’s an outside chance — but it’s growing slimmer by the day!


    • Yes, I’m waiting for the rain and the cold. It’s been such a mild winter, everything is budding and preparing to bloom. Going forward, I hope we don’t get anything more than a light freeze.

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  4. Lonicera sempervirens never became poplar here. There is one at work, but it is not at all happy. I sort of want to see what it does. So far, I am not impressed without the fragrance of Lonicera japonica. I am determined to help it to recover, so I can see why it is popular in other regions.


    • It’s a drought tolerant, native, pollinator powerhouse. I’m not big on fragrance, so I could care less about that. The L. japonica is considered a noxious invasive and is discouraged here. Of course, that doesn’t mean the nurseries don’t sell it.

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      • I can not remember the last time I saw Lonicera japonica in a nursery. I see only mature plants in old landscapes. There is still quite a bit of it around in old school gardens.


  5. Lonicera sempervirens has been kind of a challenge in my garden. I recently moved mine into more sun to see if it will bloom more freely. Wonderful range of flowers, I love all the reds and oranges.


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